3 Tips to Prevent iPhone Overheating & Temperature Warnings

Jul 22, 2014 - 8 Comments

iPhone Temperature warning, needs to cool down

Have you ever seen the Temperature Warning on the iPhone before, saying “iPhone needs to cool down before you can use it”, appearing seemingly out of nowhere? If you’ve ever left your iPhone outdoors on a hot sunny day for too long, you probably have. And if you haven’t seen that warning, let’s try to keep it that way by heeding some simple advice.


In case you’re thinking “who cares” and wondering why overheating matters, here’s why: Prolonged exposure to excessive temperatures and heat can damage an iPhone and the internal battery (this applies to most electronics and Macs too, by the way). These things are expensive and a major part of many of our digital lives, so we want to keep them in the best shape possible for as long as possible, and avoiding heat is a good way to help an iPhone last.

To be clear, you should never see this temperature warning during any normal iPhone operating situation, it almost always requires some external heat source to cause. If you’re sitting indoors minding your own business and you see that warning, your iPhone may have some other problem and you might want to contact Apple Support to get it looked at.

1: Avoid Direct Sunlight on iPhone

Even on a medium temperature day, leaving an iPhone in direct sunlight can cause the device to quickly overheat, so you’ll want to avoid leaving the device in direct sunlight. I’ve experienced the Temperature warning simply by leaving my iPhone screen-up on an outdoor table on a fairly moderate 75 degree afternoon, so it can happen even in moderate climates if the conditions and sunlight are right.

For what it’s worth, the black / slate colored iPhone models are particularly vulnerable to overheating in sunlight due to their coloration attracting the sun

2: Don’t Leave iPhone In a Hot Car

The interior of closed cars can get extremely hot – as in cookie baking hot – on sunny and warm summer days, so even if you use your iPhone as a dashboard navigational aid, don’t leave it in the vehicle if you plan on spending some time outside of the car. This includes leaving it on a car seat or in the cupholder while you’re running errands, either bring it with you or put it somewhere that it’s not going to be subjected to sun and the full brunt of a hot day.

3: Avoid Any High Heat Sources

This seems fairly obvious, right? But how many times have you just set your phone down somewhere new without thinking twice about it? I’ve had friends leave their iPhones on closed waffle irons and right in front of heating vents, each received the temperature warning (and an extremely hot-to-the-touch device, that’s really not good). So just be cautious about where you’re setting it down, particularly if you’re in an unfamiliar place.

Prevent iPhone from Overheating

Too late, I have the Temperature warning saying my iPhone needs to cool down, what should I do?

Remove it from the heat source right away and try to help cool it down. Whether that’s placing it on blasting AC vents in a car, putting it in front of an air fan, stuffing it in a refrigerator for 2 minutes, or whatever is reasonably safe and effective, just try to cool it down to a normal temperature to avoid any damage. Once it cools down and you can use the iPhone again, follow the aforementioned advice to keep it cool, and avoid situations where it could be operating in an abnormally warming environment.

iPhone temperature warning

Finally, keep in mind that some third party cases can make overheating happen faster, and can even make it worse, by preventing the iPhone from dissipating heat as it’s built to. Thus, if your iPhone is overheating and you have that warning screen, you may want to pull off the case to help it cool down quicker. You can always put it back on when it’s back to normal again.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPhone, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting

8 Comments

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  1. guillaume says:

    Hot french summer?

  2. glenn says:

    Charging the phone generates significant heat. Avoid needing to plug your phone in in the heat. Using the GPS with the phone plugged in to a 2.1 amp adapter in Arizona one summer got me a warning!

  3. Mike says:

    My iPhone used to turn off or get very hot in warm sunny weather while using GPS, listening to podcasts, and charging, all while in a suction-cup windshield mount. I started to run the defrost to try to cool it, but that takes away from the rest of the car’s AC. I got a Kenu vent mount instead and although the phone isn’t in my direct line of vision, the AC blows right on it and it stays cool; as a bonus for travel the mount is much smaller.

  4. Biplav says:

    When my phone get hot esp. While using personal hotspot I put my phone beside aircon to make it back to normal tempreture

  5. Tim Cock says:

    i’ve experienced this situation yesterday

  6. Bela says:

    Honestly….

    Do not put in fridge, temperature will drop to fast and can cause micro fracture on the logic board. You want to cool off slowly to avoid such a thing.

    Here is what is OK to do:

    Put it front of fan, let it blow the hot surface air of constantly. This way you will cool the phone off little by little.

    some advice:
    - avoid black cases
    - do not leave it front of the window on direct sunlight

    -if you feel the phone warming up as you use, you can turn off bluetooth and wireless to make it use less power -> less heat generated.

  7. Bobbi says:

    I suggest immediately pick out your iphone from the place where it’s getting exposed to heat and immediately turn it off and place it in a shaded place , once you feel your iphone has recovered , then turn it on again, it’s going to normally functioning again , please don’t put it in fridge to cool it down , you can end up with a blast

  8. Jen says:

    Just get a thermally protected “Salt Cases” cover. They block the heat with their NASA certified cases. It worked for me…

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